College Takes Several Major Steps In Reducing Energy Costs and Carbon Footprint

CoSCC-Sustainability-Logo-copy_gogreenv1(Columbia, Tenn – April 20, 2010)  – Columbia State Community College has partnered with Ameresco, Inc. to begin an energy savings modernization project beginning April, 2010 that will focus on improving building operating efficiency, lighting and lighting control upgrades and water conservation improvements, and working on the heating and air condition systems on the Columbia Campus, Williamson County Campus and Clifton Campus. Other sustainable commitments are being made at the Lewisburg and Lawrence County Campus locations.

“This initiative will help Columbia State do its part to save energy, reduce cost, and help improve the environment by reducing our carbon footprint,” said Dr. Janet F. Smith, president of Columbia State. “These projects are paid for from the utility savings they generate. The annual guaranteed savings is $198,819 which is 32% savings on the current annual utility and maintenance costs.”

The savings from this project is equivalent to powering 85 homes, planting 1,008 acres of trees and removing 739 cars from the road. The key elements of the Performance Contracting Project include:

Campus Lighting Retrofit
Existing lighting fixtures on campus will be retrofitted with new, energy efficient lamps and electronic ballasts.  Existing fixtures will be cleaned and repaired if necessary. Upgrades will occur after normal business hours to minimize disruption to the faculty and students on campus.

Heat Exchangers Removal and Hot Water System Rework
On the Columbia Campus, the old heat exchangers will be removed in all older buildings, increasing system efficiency. Also, a multistack heat pump that will produce a hot and chilled water stream in the summer months that will allow the campus to turn off its main boilers will be installed.

Direct Digital Control System Upgrades
The Columbia Campus has a central Andover brand control system that utilizes either graphical or terminal based user input command schemes for each building. The older building’s control systems are terminal based system, and require maintenance operators to memorize commands and record results. The newer generation graphical systems give a more complete picture of the systems and air handlers in use on the campus and are much easier to troubleshoot problems.  The last six terminal input DDC systems will be converted to the latest generation graphical user input programs.

Campus Water Savings Strategies
High volume toilets, urinals and showerheads will be replaced with lower flow units, and the lavatories retrofitted with water saving aerators.

Vending Misers
Fuzzy logic motion sensing devices will be installed on the nonperishable food and beverage vending equipment on campus. The devices will turn off the vending machines’ compressors and lighting during times of low/no occupancy and turn the equipment back on 30 minutes before faculty and students are expected to return.

At the Columbia Campus, 14 buildings will be retrofitted and renovated to allow for these eco-friendly changes, including the Pryor Administration Building, Baseball Dugouts, Clement Humanities Building, Finney Memorial Library, Health Sciences Building, Jones Student Center, Large Animal Holding, Maintenance/Power Building, Natatorium, Nursing Education Building, Surplus Equipment Storage, Warf Science Building, Waymon L. Hickman Building and the Webster Athletic Center. In addition, the Pryor Administration Building undergo a building air handler conversion, removing the current condensing unit and connecting the building to the campus’ chilled water system, resulting in both energy and maintenance savings.

In addition to the massive Performance Contracting Project, Columbia State has made several other sustainable commitments, including purchasing hybrid and electric vehicles (one electric 2010 GEM and two 2009 Hybrid Saturn Vues) to replace older gas powered vehicles driven by security and maintenance staff.

Another very notable accomplishment is the script written by Columbia State’s Information Technology Staff, which automatically powers down all PCs in the College’s computer labs at night, and reboots them in the morning so they’re ready for student use. It is believed that this script saves Columbia State roughly $10,000 - $15,000 annually in utilities. This script has also been shared with other colleges in Middle Tennessee to help them save on costs. The Information Technology department has also condensed and virtualized several servers, saving the College additional utility costs, and plans to continue to consolidate, reduced cooling in computer rooms, from 68 degrees to 72 – this has been tested and proven to have little to no effect on hardware – and reduces overall energy costs. New computer rooms have been built with more efficient cooling capacity because of location and more efficient HVAC and lighting, laptops are encouraged, since they use about one-third of the energy required by desktops.

There are also plans to replace all lab computers with energy star rated or very small footprint devices that require about half the energy of today’s machines, implement virtualization for the desktops as well as expanding the server virtualization project. All new printers purchased will be duplex capable reducing the amount of paper used and will begin to implement a new printer strategy to reduce the printing costs even more in the next 12 months.

The 28 outdoor benches at the Columbia Campus recently purchased from Johnsons Environmental Products are made from 100% post consumer recycled plastic.

Administration at Columbia State isn’t the only group performing environmentally friendly acts. Columbia State’s Phi Theta Kappa Students have been collecting deactivated/used cell phones to donate to ReCellular, who recycles cell phones and PDAs in an environmentally friendly manner. PTK students have collected more than 250 phones and PDAs since Spring 2009.

Due to Columbia State’s efforts, Columbia Mayor Dean Dickey and Maury County Mayor James Bailey will each be proclaiming the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day, Thursday, April 22, 2010, Columbia State Day.

Williamson County Campus
Columbia State’s Williamson County Campus has been named a platinum partner of the Live Green Partners Program for businesses, which is a collaborative effort of local businesses, Leadership Franklin, and the City of Franklin to promote sustainable operations in the workplace. The Sustainability Community Action Plan recommends the formation of a volunteer program to raise awareness and recognize those businesses that are taking strides in a sustainable direction. In addition to the efforts mentioned above in the Performance Contracting Project, the Williamson County Campus of Columbia State is committed to the following:

•    Double-sided copying only
•    Digital imaging initiative as a commitment to go digital and only print when necessary
•    Using digital media as primary form of advertising and marketing
•    Turning all lights and appliances off when not in use or using occupancy sensors
•    Installing programmable thermostats and Andover HVAC System Controls
•    Starting a Sustainability Council to oversee environmental efforts
•    Encouraging employees to suggest new conservation and cost-savings ideas
•    Buying goods made of recycled materials
•    Recycling cardboard, aluminum, plastic, mixed paper and toner cartridges
•    Eliminating or significantly reducing the usage of styrofoam in the faculty work room
•    Low-flow plumbing fixtures in bathrooms
•    Conducting a professional energy audit
•    Making sure copiers, printers and PCs are equipped with energy-saving features

Due to Columbia State’s efforts in Williamson County, Franklin Mayor John Schroer and Williamson County Mayor Rogers Anderson will each be proclaiming the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day, Thursday, April 22, 2010, Columbia State Day.

Lawrence County Campus
The Lawrence County Campus facility is not owned by Columbia State Community College, thus is not included in the Performance Contracting Project, but has made the following commitments towards sustainability:

•    Receiving a recycling storage building, built and provided by the county, where students, staff, and their families can place plastics and cardboards/paper.  The county will pick these up and transport to the Solid Waste Center.  This effort is part of a Lawrence County Education initiative where schools compete annually for the most recyclables received.
•    Currently, paper is being recycled, as well as reused for notes/messages and scratch paper for testing.
•    All paper towel dispensers have been replaced to decrease wasted paper.
•    Installed new soap dispensers use less soap as cream soap is converted into foam.

Due to Columbia State’s efforts in Lawrence County, Lawrenceburg Mayor Keith Durham and Lawrence County Executive Paul Rosson will each be proclaiming the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day, Thursday, April 22, 2010, Columbia State Day.

Lewisburg Campus
The Lewisburg Campus facility is not owned by Columbia State Community College, thus is not included in the Performance Contracting Project, but is committed to the City of Lewisburg’s Recycling Initiative.

Due to Columbia State’s efforts in Lewisburg, City Mayor Barb Woods will be proclaiming the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day, Thursday, April 22, 2010, Columbia State Day.

Clifton Campus
In addition to the efforts mentioned above in the Performance Contracting Project, the Clifton Campus of Columbia State is committed to the following:

•    Turning lights and HVAC off in classrooms that are not being used
•    Recycling all aluminum, paper and cardboard products

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